It was the spring of 1972 when Chalk Hill proprietor Fred Furth (also a prominent lawyer and philanthropist) first spotted the property he knew he’d call home—while piloting a small plane over Sonoma County. Originally owned and planted by Sarah and John Rich in the 1860s, the 242-acre parcel has since been expanded by Fred and his wife Peggy to 1,477 acres, which include 350 vineyard acres, their home, offices, winery, stables, guest houses, equestrian pavilion, sporting fields, native parks and more. The property also holds a one-acre organic garden.
More than 26 Chardonnay clones are planted at Chalk Hill. Individual blocks are gently harvested, and the grapes are 100 percent fermented in French oak. They’re carefully stirred for the first eight months of fermentation, providing a full, creamy and entirely distinctive palate. The 2005 Estate Bottled Chardonnay has aromas of stone fruit as well as tropical vanilla, banana and hazelnut on its multilayered palate. It’s paired here with a savory soup created by French-born Chalk Hill Chef Didier Ageorges, formerly the chef at San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton. He’s very passionate about preparing menu items that pair with the Chalk Hill Estate wines. This particular recipe is a great way to warm a chilly night.
Sunchoke Bisque with Crispy Bacon
|2 pounds of peeled and diced sunchokes
(also called Jerusalem artichokes)
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 quart chicken stock
|3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 slices smoked bacon, fried and chopped
A bit of chopped chives
Sweat the onions with the butter until translucent. Add the sunchokes and chicken stock. Simmer until cooked through. Blend in the cream. Check seasoning and place soup in warmed bowls. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and add some chives.
Chef Didier Ageorges
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